Monday, May 2, 2011

A Few Comments About bin Laden Death and Obama's Speech

I want to join with the rest of the nation as we celebrate the defeat of one of the most evil men of the past century. He stands there with Hitler, Stalin and Mao. The only difference between Bin Laden and these others was he did not have the ability to carry out death on the level as a Hitler, but his intent was just as horrific. It has been a long fight, and has hurt this nation as it tore it apart along ideological seems. This morning the nation seems united once more, in a similar if smaller version, of what we saw in the years after 9/11. I wish I was hopeful that this could start to be an end in our war against terror, but I am not. There is still a radical element within Islam that will not rest. I am encouraged by what I am seeing in the middle east, but I will write on that in a different post, but our war on terror will not end with the death of Bin Laden, others will set up to replace him.

As excited as I was last night as I watched the news, I was equally disappointed when I watched President Obama give his address. I was not surprised, I have ceased being surprised, I fact I expected it. Obama, as expected, used Bin Laden’s death for political gain. I was hoping for a short statement, but instead he took credit. He also used the occasion to rewrite a bit of his own history:

“We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.”

Obama knew how exited we would be and he wanted to celebrate with us, be one of us. He is correct that we united as a nation and were committed. Almost every Congressman and Senator voted to support President Bush and voted for a declaration of War. Almost every Senator, one of the very few who did not was Obama. He was not part of us then, in fact he was against it. He made his campaign that we were wrong and promised to end the war if elected.

The President continued, “Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort.” Here he seems to be giving a nod to President Bush but in the next paragraph said,

“Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world. And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.”

In other words, I did what Bush could not. I made Bin Laden a priority and so now we got him. I guess I feel for Bush, he fought an unpopular war to get bin Laden, yet Obama takes all the credit and gets American support, all the while retaining liberal support by saying this is a war we should have never fought. Throughout the speech Obama used rhetoric straight out of Bush’s speeches, the same rhetoric he condemned Bush for as grandstanding, he is now using.

Lastly I was put off by his arrogance. He needed to tone down the use of “I”. The whole speech was I did this and I did that. Here a few examples

“I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority”

“I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden”

“I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation”

“Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation”

“Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was.”

“These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.”

I was getting prepared for him to say that he personally after making all the plans actually flew over there and led the mission and that he personally pulled the trigger for the kill shot.

Just to be open, I am not a fan of the president. If you read old posts you will see I tried, I hoped he would be the man he wanted us to believe. So maybe I am just jaded, but in a moment of triumph I was disappointed that the President took the time to make a campaign speech